Hello and welcome back for one more culinary diary, by Odd Ray.
Amongst my top five favorite Korean dishes is what we call Samgyetang. I particularly enjoy Samgyetang during winter time, as its chicken broth warms up my freezing body, but I also enjoy it during spring, and quite surprisingly summer. See, when it comes to Korean summer, it usually gets so hot and humid I suddenly lose any appetite during the day (for those who know me, that is pretty extraordinary). However, samgyetang is still something I would brave the hot summer weather for, and as a matter of fact, Samgyetang is actually a summer dish.
Samgyetang primarily consists of a whole chicken filled with a mix of garlic and rice, and cooked in a broth with Korean ginseng, scallions and jujube. There are three days of the summer calendar on which it is customary to eat Samgyetang: those are Chobok, Jungbok and Malbok, which are known to be amongst the hottest days in Korea. Eating Samgyetang on those day is, according to popular belief, of great benefit to your health.
Samgyetang is not as easy to find as most other well-known Korean soups, but it is definitely worth spending time looking for! Most restaurants which offer Samgyetang are actually specialized in it and each cook has its secret ingredient to add to the recipe, which is why no Samgyetang tastes alike!
So go and find yourself some Samgyetang next time you are in Korea! Your tastebuds will be very grateful for it!